McDowell County grandfather starts dancing after $515,731 jackpot win on his birthday

Marion resident Jeffrey Coats couldn’t help but dance after a $5 Fast Play ticket, bought on his birthday, turned into a $515,731 jackpot win.

“I started dancing around the coffee table,” he laughed.

Coats said his girlfriend knew then that he must have won a big prize.

“She said, ‘Oh he must have won something because he doesn’t dance,’” Coats recalled.

He bought his lucky Blizzard Bingo ticket on Dec. 23 from Samir’s on U.S. 221 South in Marion. At the time of his purchase, the jackpot stood at $1,031,462. Since Coats bought a $5 ticket, he received 50% of the progressive jackpot.

“I bought the ticket on my birthday,” Coats said. “I checked it the next day on Christmas Eve morning.”

Coats arrived at lottery headquarters Tuesday to collect his prize and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $368,749.

“I still don’t think it’s really registered for us,” Coats said.

He plans to use his winnings to help his friends and family and put some money away for his grandchildren’s college fund.
Fast Play features an instantly growing jackpot that increases with every ticket sold until it is won. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Fast Play jackpot stands at $204,000 and counting.

A $15 million grant, using money raised by the lottery, helped McDowell County build the new Old Fort Elementary School. For details on other ways McDowell County benefits from lottery funds, visit and click on the “Impact” section.

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